Laab or larb is a minced meat salad flavoured with fish sauce and lime juice together with some other herbs like mint and coriander. It is a northeastern thai food and is said to be originated from Laos, the neighbouring country of Thailand. There are few variations of laab for instance they have laab gai which is chicken meat, laab moo which uses ground pork and they also have duck laab and beef laab. One interesting and new ingredient that i come across is toasted rice powder which seems like a an essential ingredient in laab..i'm not really sure as i see almost all laab recipes have this. Since it is not difficult to make, i added that in as well. Basically, it is just raw rice which get toasted in a pan and then pound till coarse or fine. This adds a little extra crunch bite to the laab. I pounded mine till fine and still i can get bits of crunchiness in some bites. Good thing that we can actually dont have to make a lot because they are just toasted rice, can even make just one or two tablespoon...and toasted rice can also be added into some dipping sauce
Laab are usually served along with glutinous rice but i didnt make any glutinuous rice and i just served them with some lettuce. Eating this laab reminds me of a kerabu dish..the flavours of the mint, the shallots, th elime juice and the coriander.
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Recipe ( from thaitable.com )
4-5 sprigs of cilantro/coriander , sliced
2 -3tbsp fish sauce
1 stalk green onion, sliced ( optional )
1/4 tbsp ground dried chilli pepper ( omitted )
1/2 lbs of ground chicken/pork ( mine was 220gm of minced chicken )
juice from 2 limes
3 shallots, sliced
3 sprigs spearmint , sliced ( i used mint leaves)
1 tbsp toasted rice powder ( refer to method below )
1. Marinate the chicken with a tablespoon of lime juice for 5 minutes.
2. Heat up a pan on high until it is very hot. Add 2 tablespoons of water and then immediately add in the marinated chicken and stir. Use a wooden spoon to loosen the meat , keep stirring until the meat is cooked. You may add in a few more tablespoons of water to cook the meat to avoid from turning brown.
3. Put the meat into a large mixing bowl. Add fish sauce, green onion, shallot, cilantro, the rest of the lime juice ( i added just 2 tbsp of lime juice ), ground dried chilli pepper and almost all of the toasted rice powder. Save some toasted rice powder to sprinkle on top for garnishing. Mix well and taste . See if more fish sauce and lime juice are needed.
4. Put the mixed ingredients in a serving bowl, garnish with spearmint and sprinkle the rest of the toasted rice powder on top. Serve with vegetable like cabbage, lettuce and thai basil.
Toasted rice powder ( from here )
Heat up a pan and add one of two tablespoon of raw, uncooked rice. Lower the heat, keep stirring to prevent burning. The rice should be golden brown when done. Remove the rice from the pan into a mortar.
Instead of pounding, use the pestle to twist to crush the rice into powder. You can choose to crush into coarse powder or fine powder.
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Thailand ) November Month hosted by frozen wings